Mar 222012
 
 March 22, 2012  Posted by at 5:20 pm Finance

Howard Hollem D-DayParade June 6 1944 Part of the parade on D-Day, Madison Square, New York”

“On approaching the other it has lost its own self, since it finds itself as another being; secondly, it has thereby sublated that other, for this primitive consciousness does not regard the other as essentially real but sees its own self in the other.” –Hegel

Morris Berman, in his book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline, delves into a very sensitive topic for most Americans. He asks the tough questions about the nature of American culture as it relates to various issues such as slavery, genocide, the corruption of corporate and governing institutions, systemic environmental destruction, imperial warmongering and economic decline. The book focuses not only on some limited time period in recent history, but the course of the new frontier’s entire lifetime from colonial settlements to present day.

 

 

Some may argue that a straightforward application of Hegel’s concept of “negative identity” to American culture is rather simplistic, but I believe Berman provides valuable insights by making such a connection. When he argues that American history has been significantly influenced by our culture’s need to define itself in opposition to abstract “others”, who are typically viewed as savages, it is difficult to deny the historical evidence that lends its support. It is a history marked by “wars” of all different forms, but with very similar underlying narratives.

It begins with the European colonization of the Americas, and the battle against Native populations for the resources/wealth offered by the new frontier. What our public schools like to present as a cordial day of giving thanks followed by various isolated incidents of confrontation is more accurately summed up as the systematic pillaging, subjugation and genocide of indigenous populations. That was perhaps the most significant factor in shaping our future negative identity as the so-called civilized and liberating force in opposition to savage cultures.

 

 

That dynamic, which started with colonial settlers from Europe, maintained itself right through the war for freedom from our “colonial oppressors” in England. A naturally under-emphasized feature of periods before, during and after the Revolutionary War was the extensive harm inflicted on people labeled as “loyalists” or “tories”, who comprised about 20-30% of the colonial population. They were constantly harassed, tarred and feathered, beaten and sometimes killed. Many of these “loyalists” included blacks who were promised freedom by both the British and rebel armies, but received it from neither.

About 60 years later, the Americans waged a war against the savage Mexicans populations to the south, who refused to willingly relinquish half their country to us following the forced annexation of Texas. Shortly after, the U.S. Civil War broke out, which Berman describes as a clash of oppositional cultures – on one side was the “slow, easy south” and on the other was the relentlessly expanding north. What resulted from this internal schism was the bloodiest war in American history, and all of that blood was shed without the enslaved African-Americans gaining any real freedom in the process.

The list of cultures which informed the negative identity of Americans obviously keeps growing larger from there. In WWI and WWII, it was the ruthless, war-mongering Germans. After that, it was the brutal Soviets and other Communist nations during the Cold War. Most recently, it has become the Muslim populations and the “insurgent” groups of the Arab world that are villified by the “war on terror”. Regardless of what we think about any of those populations and cultures, it is undeniable that much of American society has developed an identity which requires a constant need to define ourselves in opposition to a hostile “other”. As Berman says, “all forms of violence are quests for identity”.

 

 

Berman presents a very compelling argument and eventually concludes that the historical trends of American culture are bound to continue on for many years into the future until, presumably, our policies lead us straight into a global catastrophe such as wholesale economic and sociopolitical collapse, nuclear war or apocalyptic climate change. He views our destructive mentality as something nearly engrained in our DNA, and tells us that Americans simply “don’t have the gray matter” to make any significant changes to their collective mentality in time. It is all a very grim picture, indeed.

On the other hand, he states that the original working title for his book was “Capitalism and Its Discontents”, because he wanted to recognize the strains of resistance that have also been present in America. He didn’t go with that title because he correctly recognized that those “discontented” strains have never achieved a very significant voice in America, and certainly not one that has been able to reach the masses and make a difference. As much as we would like to believe that we can evolve away from our opposition culture into one that is more comfortable with itself, it is difficult to ignore the momentum of our self-repeating history over a few centuries.

As the American empire comes under increasingly large pressure from economic, financial and environmental limits, how will our negative identity react? On the one hand, we have a federal government and a system of large corporations that are seeking to oppress and enslave a majority of Americans with every chance they get. We see parts of our potential negative identity reacting towards these elite groups through movements such as Occupy, but they still remain a rather ephemeral force. The more forceful divide has, unfortunately, become an internal one between “conservatives” and “liberals”; democrats and republicans.

The next few months before the 2012 elections will perhaps give us a glimpse into which faction of our oppositional identity will take precedence over the others going into the future. Like Berman, I am not very hopeful that Americans will suddenly begin directing their anger, fear and frustration into constructive channels. Rather, it seems likely that they will once again fall into the self-defeating trap of the negative identity that has formed around them since their ancestors first arrived at the shores of North America. One that reacts to the conveniently commercialized, branded and propagandized threats of the ephemeral “other”. We can only hope the empire crumbles faster than the American culture metastacizes yet again.

Home Forums To Where Our Oppositional Culture Takes Us

This topic contains 0 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  ashvin 7 years, 11 months ago.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 84 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #8582

    ashvin
    Participant

    Howard Hollem D-DayParade June 6 1944 Part of the parade on D-Day, Madison Square, New York” “On approaching the other it has lost its own self, since
    [See the full post at: To Where Our Oppositional Culture Takes Us]

    #1914

    good post.

    though it must be added that Berman also discusses something equally as fundamental, counterproductive, delusional, deleterious and destructive as, “negative identity” — the amerikan dream.

    The Hustle:

    “The crux of the problem remains the American Dream: even ‘progressives’ see it as the solution — including, I have the impression, the Wall Street protesters — when it’s actually the problem.”
    – Why the American Empire Was Destined to Collapse
    Author and social critic Morris Berman says the fact that we’re a nation of hustlers lies at the root of our decline
    https://www.alternet.org/world/154453/why_the_american_empire_was_destined_to_collapse/?page=entire

    this really speaks to me.

    it resonates with a glaring hypocrisy in Occupy perhaps best manifested by one of it’s leading, hypocritical lights, Chris Hedges, when he consistently champions restoring the American middle class at the same time he exhorts us to, “embrace, and embrace rapidly, a radical new ethic of simplicity and rigorous protection of our ecosystem”.

    it should be obvious that the two (American middle class and radical simplicity) are diametric, each the enemy of the other.

    but i encounter and experience little if any perception let alone discussion of this paradox.

    only more of the same.

    Ralph Nader is talking minimum wage (hacking at the branches) when we should be focused on the fact that, “We do not live in an economy, we live in a Ponzi scheme” [*] (striking at the root), and essentially begging for table scraps is not a reasonable let alone viable solution.

    yes, i know this is idealistic (if such words apply given the gravity of our black hole, no matter which direction we choose) albeit steeped in reality.

    and i know, as the late, great Joe Bageant astutely observed:

    “In the face of all this stands a very diverse public, which regardless of what some might claim behind a few beers, is not about to take up arms or use force to unseat the ruling class. When your life and your family are so utterly controlled by persons and forces that you cannot even see, you don’t take such risks. That’s not gutlessness. It’s common sense.”
    – Understanding America’s Class System (Honk if you love caviar) [**]

    but living on the razor’s edge of homelessness it’s difficult to shake disillusionment, frustration and anger in response to the ever increasing futility of this American life.

    i don’t want a job, a car and a house
    i don’t want to Occupy the past
    i want a Revolution
    a different way of being

    [*] https://www.arthurmag.com/2009/03/16/let-it-die-rushkoff-on-the-economy/

    [**] https://www.joebageant.com/joe/2010/08/understanding-america.html

    #1918

    rlmrdl
    Participant

    I’m sorry to see the calumny against Americans not “having the grey matter” to “make changes to their collective mentality”. In the first place, it is not possible to MAKE changes to a collective mentality. That mentality is an emergent property of the collective and, while leadership can help to make a difference (Gandhi for example) it is a very slow, incremental process until it reaches a watershed. Gandhi was, BTW, a great exponent of the oppositional culture, there is no way he could have united India without the British and in the end the religious differences were too great to contain.

    Change is even more difficult in times when there is an existential threat of any kind. The fact that Americans are under increasing threat from their own system is part of the tragedy of all empires, but it guarantees that they will find it too dangerous to change because the cost of failure in that change is too terrifying to contemplate.

    Similarly, it the the process of all Empires to accrete and centralise all benefits and to begin to fail at the edges, leaving the centre relatively unscathed until the final phase when it finds itself incapable of sustaining the system which is inherently dependent on looting the periphery. Once the periphery comes inside the national borders the process eats itself and dies.

    That does not in any way reflect on the intelligence of the members of the empirical community, their entire world view, for all of their lives and those of several generations before, is informed and conditioned by the fact of empire and the hidden subsidies that it supplies. Breaking out iof that requires something akin to mental illness, the willingness to see, and believe, that what is all around is false and that some alternative that cannot be instantiated until the old way is removed will be better.

    It may be the case, but it will get you “treated” for delusions in every empire that has ever existed. The Romans threw the Christians to the lions, the US throws its dissenters to the pharmaceutical business until they become “well” again.

    It might be useful to think of Europe’s troubles as the failure of the periphery of the US empire than as some discrete event, for example.

    TAE and TOD readers, the Archdruid and others are doing the only thing possible in this world, creating a thinking model and action plan for small groups who can act as sources of knowledge and skills when the inevitable happens; to imagine that any empire or its denizens can do otherwise is neither helpful nor reasonable.

    #1920

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    It’s quite flattering to hear that the good ol’ US of A surpasses again. There we are, the cause of a literal majority of the evil in the world today. We’re Number One!

    Stalin and Mao would be jealous. Is there some sort of handicap system to let Pol Pot and the Kim family maintain credit for their spectacular performances with limited resources?

    #1922

    eugene12
    Member

    Personally, I find few Americans that can discuss much of anything with any real meaning. Far too self absorbed and America centered in their thought processes. So the “lack of grew matter” definitely resonates with me. Any subject relating to reality is deemed “too depressive, doomy and/or gloomy”. Now football, American Idol or as a retired high school principal informed me, “I’m much more interested in choosing my deck stain” are hot topics and can consume hours of senseless debate.

    #1923

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Oh, and despite being an actual Yankee, I know that the Texas War of Independence was not exactly the gringo raid that for instance Hawaii was.

    After Spain failed for 300 years to get New Mexico/Texas settled, the brand new Republic of Mexico deliberately offered very attractive terms to immigrants. Besides Usacos, they got a substantial number of Germans to take them up on it.

    There were so many LEGAL immigrants that Mexican culture (always thin on the ground that far North) was going to get swamped. So Santa Ana reneged on the promises, apparently violating the Mexican Bill of Rights in the process. And, yup, the dudes from Dixie reached for their guns. Even paranoids do have real enemies.

    #1924

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Eugene12,

    If you want to see provincial, check out a European on her first trip to North America.

    Did you know that the RCMP doesn’t wear dress tunics on Bay St? And nobody wears stocking caps or mackinaws. Wow!
    No cowboy hats on the Chicago El either!!. Who’da thunk it?

    For postgrad, Ontario is only a _little_ bit bigger than the EU 15.

    #1926

    Surly recently wrote an article about Morris Berman over on DD, “Donner Party America: They Eat Each Other”.

    If you’re not familiar with the work of Morris Berman, you might wish to become so immediately. Berman is a cultural historian and social critic, former academic, and author of many books, including a trilogy observing the decline of America.

    The Donner Party story and analogy, drawn from the interview below, seemss particularly apt. The observation of the native expedition party, that “they eat each other” reminds me of the observation that the United States has a “wetiko,” or cannibal culture, that Thom Hartmann made in his book, ”The Last Days of Ancient Sunlight.” In that book, Hartman made the point that we needed a new set of stories around which to organize our culture. Berman however, is having none of that. In his view it is far too late. And that is, of course, the view that motivates many on this board. Interesting how these lines tend to converge at some as yet undefined but seemingly-just-over-the-horizon vanishing point.

    I first encountered Berman in his book, “Dark Ages America” several years ago. Some of the themes therein are continued in his new book, “Why America Failed,” which is the subject of this interview below with author Nomi Prins.

    Berman’s argument is that the seeds of America’s decline were sown from the very beginning. That the culture of hustling, materialism, and the pursuit of personal gain without regard for its effects on other people have been the powerful forces that have motivated Americans from the very beginning ever since the Pilgrims landed in America. We seem to have this idealized view of the founders, and their unselfish beliefs that motivated the creation of our sacred founding documents. The truth is, the fix was in from the very beginning, they created a commercial republic from the start with an eye to preserving property. Wasn’t long before naked self interest had replaced the common good as the primary social good in the colonies.

    Read the rest at:

    https://www.doomsteaddiner.org/blog/2012/03/11/donner-party-america-they-eat-each-other/

    RE

    #1927

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    BTW who’s the dude in the cravat? Where does he fit in the narrative?

    #1928

    Anonymous

    I’m unfamiliar with how Hegel used the concept of negative identity in his work, but I’ve recently read Karl Poppers comprehensive analysis of Hegel’s failure as a philosopher in The Open Society and its Enemies. Popper totally ruins Hegels intellectual integrity there, and reveals him to be an authoritarian apologist in regards to government.

    Any system of empire needs to define military and ideological opponents at all times to maintain its political and cultural identity. Empire is inherently hostile towards political diversity and open civil discourse because of its ‘negative identity’, and disintegrates under any serious moral criticism, civil discourse and political dissent, because its motives are always intellectually fraudulent and deceptive towards its own denizens as well as outsiders.

    The US constitution, however, resoundingly contains the most positive political identity for a citizenry ever formulated on paper. There is no more logically consistent and socially adaptive document of this sort currently in ‘use’.
    The ideal of the democratic Republic yields the most positive political identity available to the individual, although citizens as a group still need to define ‘others’ outside the group identity as non-citizens, they need no ideological enemies other than [the danger of] tyranny and government oppression to maintain cultural group cohension.
    The political identity of citizens in such a repupblic do not naturally require antagonised groups of non-citizens or foreign people, but the denizens of empire may always antagonise an outside group to attain negative group identity.

    The 20th century provided excessive means to fully inform and enable the citizenry politically, and formulate a positive political identity, but this was not accomplished in spite of the greatest economic expansion in human history.
    A strategy of social control to restrain positive political identities must have interdicted, to favor the structures of oligarchy and empire. Systemic political deception and misdirection by means of public schooling and the use of mass media as psychosocial weapon platform successfully instilled imperial doctrine in the citzenry beyond their reasonable means of intellectal resistance.

    Most of US history has sadly been defined through empire, not as the republic that was intended. It has been said that the concept of citizenship defined in the constitution only applies to a wholly moral or spiritual people, and will serve none who are culturally divested from moral principles. Empire is totally devoid of moral principles.

    #1933

    jonabark
    Participant

    While I agree that the constitution of the Republic provides a framework for a modest self governing and self correcting republic and embodies ideals of shared liberty, It began by creating and allowing classes of citizens( slaves, landholders, servants, unlanded) and did nothing to stop the continual breaking of every treaty made with aboriginal tribes. Instead it increasingly became a legal cloak for the practical aspirations of continuous imperial expansion. As for the idea that Berman places all imperial and colonial propensities to violence on America’s shoulders, that is neither implied nor stated. Berman is countering the idea of American exceptionalism and idealism, not saying we are uniquely prone to these patterns.

    #1943

    viva zapata
    Member

    The flaccid intellectuality that feels the need to preceed its tentative gestures with a demonstration of pre-Jungian blather, wrapped in Hegelianism, signifying nothing, betrays its utter lack of genuine depth or insight.

    European imperialism established the relationship of the early colonists with the Indian, the negro and the Mexican.

    Collective human nature, as noted by one of the other posters, doesn’t turn on a dime. But it does turn. Witness the surge in concern for civil rights and the tacit permission for Mexicans to immigrate illegally. The American ideal has advanced the human condition.

    As for the role of the US in the larger world, Japan attacked us and Germany was raping Europe, so yes, we got involved. Should we have allowed the USSR to seize Europe and the rest of the world unopposed? The results of our rejection of that scenario can be found in a quiescent Russia, a merchantilistic China, a prosperous SK and Japan, a friendly Vietnam, a free Eastern Europe, relative peace throughout the world and HOPE of prosperity in places like Africa and India.

    Our current situation isn’t pretty, but it doesn’t improve with the exultant malice of those that crave the destruction of America.

    Those pounding the relentless drum beat of defeatism heard in the scampering feet and vicious lies that advance the progressivist rot penetrating the foundations of America, would do well to consider a more honest assessment of the sources and products of the exceptionalism of the US.

    To continue in their current vein is to damn the world and the hopeful beginnings of true human freedom.

    #1944

    ashvin
    Participant

    FrankRichards post=1527 wrote: BTW who’s the dude in the cravat? Where does he fit in the narrative?

    Hegel.

    Gravity,

    Whether or not you agree with Hegel’s philosophy (I don’t), there is no denying that he did wonders with his dialectic method.

    RE,

    I guess great blogs think alike!?

    VZ,

    You need a different name…

    The rest of your post is unadulterated BS, both misunderstanding what I wrote and the state of the world.

    viva zapata wrote: Should we have allowed the USSR to seize Europe and the rest of the world unopposed? The results of our rejection of that scenario can be found in a quiescent Russia, a merchantilistic China, a prosperous SK and Japan, a friendly Vietnam, a free Eastern Europe, relative peace throughout the world and HOPE of prosperity in places like Africa and India.

    #1945

    ashvin
    Participant

    Gravity post=1528 wrote: The US constitution, however, resoundingly contains the most positive political identity for a citizenry ever formulated on paper. There is no more logically consistent and socially adaptive document of this sort currently in ‘use’.

    OK, I’ll bite. Have you read the first three articles of the Constitution? “Logically consistent” is a bit of a stretch. In fact, I’d be more comfortable calling it “a bunch of vaguely authoritarian nonsense that virtually guarantees the American population will never be free”.

    #1946

    viva zapata
    Member

    ashvin

    Did part of your response to me get cut off? All I see is your ‘bs’ verdict and a quote from my post. I’d like to see your reasons for trashing my opinion.

    #1950

    viva zapata
    Member

    It is curious that the author takes so much trouble to hammer the role of the US in the world, but seems to ignore the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room.

    China is suffocating its cities with pollution, allowing desertification to consume its northwest, creating in Africa a series of colonies to support its rampant unsustainable grow rate, and all the while thumbing its nose at hard-won Western standards of treatment of citizens, all the while intimidating its neighbors.

    No, the author of this piece prefers to talk about the US imperfections, though the US is a net carbon sink, is drastically reducing its consumption of gasoline, and has given assistance to the world, through the green revolution, the advent of miracle drugs and ongoing foreign aid.

    This is not even to speak of the avoidance of WW III through outlasting the USSR in an arms race, maintaining general peace throughout the world with its military might, which keeps the big dogs from killing the little dogs, and the promotion a network of world trade, one in which the US accepts trade deficits to be essentially the buyer of last resort for many nations, making nations immemorially poor aspire to something better.

    It may not be the vogue for progressives to tell these truths. But will they even listen?

    #1953

    Ashvin wrote: I guess great blogs think alike!?

    Convergent thinking.

    I remember back in around 2009 the first time I read one of Stoneleigh’s deflationary credit collapse diatribes. “Holy Shit! Somebody ELSE sees this! How about that?!?!” LOL.

    RE

    #1954

    viva zapata – the Corbett Report on Uganda and its oil (and of course China’s interest in that oil) is a good listen. When my children started to talk about Kony, I wondered what was up; why was he mainstream so quickly. Have a listen.

    https://www.corbettreport.com/uganda-africom-and-the-kony-boogeyman/

    As for Russia, I once heard a senator say that it was easier just to bankrupt Russia than to fight her, keep the arms race going until she was broken.

    As for Japan attacking you, why did that happen? Oil embargo, anyone?

    The whole world, listen up: you will follow our way of doing things, or be crushed! Which do you want? No different than a common neighbourhood bully!

    #1955

    ashvin
    Participant

    viva zapata post=1546 wrote: ashvin

    Did part of your response to me get cut off? All I see is your ‘bs’ verdict and a quote from my post. I’d like to see your reasons for trashing my opinion.

    My opinion is that your opinion is ridiculously out of touch with reality on its face, and therefore requires no further explanation. The US maintains peace throughout the world with its military might? Please…

    That being said, I never once said that the American empire was uniquely “evil”, that everything about its culture is bad or that it has never made positive contributions in the world. None of those things are going to halt its ongoing collapse, though.

    BTW, posts that use the image tag (img) still do not show up. Our back-end man Dan has been busy, but he should be able to resolve it soon.

    #1956

    ashvin
    Participant

    Also, VZ, I find it supremely ironic that you keep referring to me, and presumably others who agree with me, as “progressives”. Perhaps you missed this part:

    The more forceful divide has, unfortunately, become an internal one between “conservatives” and “liberals”; democrats and republicans.

    The next few months before the 2012 elections will perhaps give us a glimpse into which faction of our oppositional identity will take precedence over the others going into the future.

    #1957

    viva zapata
    Member

    Ashvin

    It might surprise you to know that I find many of your premises valid. But the fact is that the course of nations cannot be predicted with the ease of the flip of a coin, particularly when their course is so exceptional, as has been that of the US. The variables are just too many and too complex.

    Anyone that thinks the Constitution is outdated is simply not living in the real world. You (and I mean this in a collective sense) couldn’t do any better on the best day you ever had. BTW it’s not finished being written yet.

    And you can sneer all you like at the idea that the US military is the sole guarantor of the peace and liberty of many of the world’s nations. You can overlook the great successes we have enjoyed. You can wave off the freedom and PEACE and growing prosperity of the world. You can point and exclaim that Iraq/Afghanistan/ Iran (your choice here) are misadventures, but what can possibly replace the US and its interventionism that is better? No Martians, no non-existent entities, no impossible conjunctions, please.

    Remember, things can get marginally better over the long term, but they can go straight to hell very quickly.

    Be careful which devil you choose and which you reject.

    #1959

    ashvin
    Participant

    viva zapata post=1557 wrote: You can wave off the freedom and PEACE and growing prosperity of the world. You can point and exclaim that Iraq/Afghanistan/ Iran (your choice here) are misadventures, but what can possibly replace the US and its interventionism that is better? No Martians, no non-existent entities, no impossible conjunctions, please.

    What could possibly be better for billions of people who have been and continue to be subjected to the imperial wealth/resource extraction and militarized brutality of the Western core of our global system, and primarily the U.S. over the last 60 years? Is that really what you are asking?

    It seems that you have constructed some kind of alternate reality for your own convenience, where people around the world are living free and in peace and stability, thanks to Uncle Sam’s relentless military and economic interventions. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you don’t see that, then there’s nothing left to say.

    #1960

    viva zapata
    Member

    Ashvin

    Ever heard of the green revolution? Know where it came from? Know how many hundreds of millions it feeds today? Of course you do. Yet you continue to focus on your pet alternate reality, no doubt dismissing these facts as ‘outliers’.

    Do you recall President George Bush’s AIDS initiative to Africa? Do you know how many lives it has saved and improved? Do you know what the cost has been to the American taxpayer for this gift? Of course you do, but you dismiss this as well because it conflicts with your polemic of a ruthless self-serving America.

    When you attempt to thrust the US into the mold of empire that holds Rome and Great Britain, you do a disservice to your reader and a violence to reality.
    You know perfectly well that the US has been the single force in the world since 1945 responsible for the growth of the prosperity and numbers of humans around the planet.

    The flood of Nobel prizes and life-sustaining technologies from the universities of the US, funded by American taxpayers are now commonplace in even the poorest nations. And we aren’t half finished.

    You only wish there was nothing left to say.

    #1961

    Geopolitics according to Zapata:

    “The Military-Industrial-Complex: Bringing Peace, Joy and Happiness to the Little People of the World since 1776”

    LOL.

    viva zapata post=1560 wrote: Ashvin

    Ever heard of the green revolution? Know where it came from?

    As a matter of fact I do. The Green Revolution is the result of mnufacturers of Ammonium Nitrate used to produce Bombs in WWII turning their production facilities toward the fertilizer market. The result of said revolution has been to destroy the economics of subsistence farmers all across the globe and make them dependent on the industrialized food apparatus that uses these fertilizers to produce cheap monoculture crops on mechanized ag land.

    Tell me Zapate, are you simply trolling or are you really as stupid as your posting makes you appear to be?

    RE
    https://www.doomsteaddiner.org

    #1962

    viva zapata
    Member

    Dear Ashvin:

    Ha-ha. I exult in the discomfiture of those that react with rage when their biases are exposed. Thanks for playing.

    While I recognize that synthetic fertilizers have resulted in the marginalization of many subsistence farmers, I would also note that the genetic techniques in improvement of plant types, particularly rice (most of which have originated in the US) far outweigh that drawback and, in fact, have served mankind well, feeding hundreds of millions today.

    Why hate the good things the US does? As you can see, I seek a balanced narrative, I don’t attempt to deprecate the bad things it does. Allow me to demonstrate again: the US can’t always be the policeman of the world and doesn’t do a perfect job. Try it sometime.

    Here’s an opportunity: why don’t you have anything to say about the AIDS drugs the US supplies to Africa gratis? Doesn’t fit into your box, does it?

    Anyhow, here is a snippet (the last for today) on the ‘green revolution’, from Google, which is just one small part of the magnificent story of post-war American agricultural innovation, and how it has come to feed much of the world:

    “The beginnings of the Green Revolution are often attributed to Norman Borlaug, an American scientist interested in agriculture. In the 1940s, he began conducting research in Mexico and developed new disease resistance high-yield varieties of wheat. By combining Borlaug’s wheat varieties with new mechanized agricultural technologies, Mexico was able to produce more wheat than was needed by its own citizens, leading to its becoming an exporter of wheat by the 1960s. Prior to the use of these varieties, the country was importing almost half of its wheat supply.”

    Ashvin, I, a troll? I want us to be friends. Before it is over I will subscribe to your theory of the big bad imperialistic US- not! And you of course will be unconsciously whistling the ‘Star Spangled Banner’- maybe.

    Have a safe and happy weekend! Be seeing you.

    #1963

    JoeP
    Member

    Ashvin wrote: The US maintains peace throughout the world with its military might?

    Of course not. But what would China do with the equivalent of the US military? Is Darfur an example? Sorry, time to grow up.

    #1964

    viva zapata post=1562 wrote: Dear Ashvin:

    Ha-ha. I exult in the discomfiture of those that react with rage when their biases are exposed. Thanks for playing.

    Ashvin wasn’t playing, I was.

    You’re going to have a hard time convincing anyone here that GMO crops which produce higher yields per acre are a good thing. Far as feeding 100Ms people with this pig feed, I don’t suppose it ever occured to you that supplying this food practically for free for the last 50 years is the reason the planetary population of Homo Sapiens is in such a vast state of Overshoot to begin with? Now that the energy doesn’t come cheap, neither does the food, so the 6B or so you bred up with your Monsanto GMO seeds and Round Up are just SOL. Gee sorry, the model doesn’t work. Ooops.

    RE
    https://www.doomsteaddiner.org

    #1965

    jamesC
    Member

    viva zapata wrote:
    the US … is drastically reducing its consumption of gasoline

    Well, …, ish:
    https://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MGFUPUS2&f=A

    #1967

    Golden Oxen
    Participant

    @ Reverse Engineer. I am surprised at you RE. Berating someone that has fed billions of poor and impoverished fellow human beings. I hope you are not going to volunteer for work on the new government death panels. Would like to suggest you delete that post for the sake of your previous reputation.

    #1968

    viva zapata
    Member

    So doomsteaddiner, you believe it would have been better for those that benefit from the green revolution to starve? Will you volunteer to be one of the lucky ones that gets their ration cut to 500 calories a day? What nations will we allow to starve first? You decide, oh wise one.

    And while we’re at it, fill us in, we’d love to know why the Monsanto seeds, apart from not being able to gather seed for a new crop, are monster seeds. You are crazy with conspiracy.

    The world population has been growing exponentially for more than fifty years. Those bad medicines that disserve humanity by saving lives are partly to blame.

    I know, I know, you’re one of those that thinks the world should have five hundred, no one hundred million people- and you’re one of’em. HAHAHAHA. Such compassion.

    You are part of a sick inhuman conspiracy-addled bunch that hates authority because you were raised by mommy and daddy to think that you’re above the rest. Well it ain’t so. The Bengladeshi has as much right to feed his family and multiply as you. If you want to practice birth control and abortion that’s your downfall.

    You and Malthus can go take a flying leap into nothingness.

    #1969

    viva zapata post=1568 wrote: So doomsteaddiner, you believe it would have been better for those that benefit from the green revolution to starve?

    You’re not framing the question correctly. In all likelihood, most of the current 7B on the planet would never have been born to begin with, so those who were never born would not starve.

    Of the remaining people, then its a question of how the food gets distributed out and when the food runs out. Under the current scenario created by the Green Revolution of massive population overshoot, what you are likely to get is a Fast Crash of a biological population similar to the population crash of the deer on St. Matthew’s Island. You have now virtually guaranteed mass starvation on the order of billions of people, whereas had societies been encouraged to live off of only what their territory would support, many fewer would have been born and many fewer would have ended up starving to death.

    Ideally, had we begun building a world on sustainable principles 50 or better yet 100 years ago, ideally nobody would have starved anywhere and all people today would be living in relative comfort. As it is, a relatively small percentage of the world lives in great comfort while the vast majority of people barely eke out subsistence lives eating food shipped in from far away they no longer can afford. You have thus guaranteed that billions will now starve to death. Idiots.

    RE

    #1980

    el gallinazo
    Member

    RE

    I have to admire your patience and fortitude with dealing with this new Viva Zapata character. Zapata has always been a hero of mine, and that someone espousing such creepy globalistic tripe should defame his name goes past the limits of blasphemy. He is knowledgable enough to know this himself, so his choice of the ID is in itself deliberate and arrogant disinformation. Sort of like someone using the ID Francis of Assisi and then going on to laud Pol Pot’s genocide. Smacks of Cass Sunstein’s cynical stable. Maybe the NSA troll bunch out in Anaheim. I would respect him more (which is saying very little) if he had IDed himself as VIPR Patrol or Darth Vader.

    #1981

    el gallinazo
    Member

    I haven’t read Morris Berman in the original, and I do not intend to. I am having some eye trouble and have to triage my reading. Additionally, with my current location and life style, all my reading is now restricted to the electronic. That said, from Ash’s description, I would far prefer the late and sadly missed Joe Bageant’s analysis of where America’s aggressive and pugnacious attitude came from. He deals with it in depth in both his books.

    While the Constitution of the United States is a far from perfect document, it’s first ten amendments are a shining beacon of human rights and freedoms, even if sadly ignored in much of US history. The country may be facing a civil war in the very near future between Sauron like globalists bankers, who wish to impose a totalitarian regime far worse, due to the available technology, than even George Orwell could envision in his worst nightmares, and an ornery and imperfect crowd which wishes to reinstate the supremacy of the Constitution, of which Ron Paul is currently the titular head. The victory of the latter confederation is our last hope. Thus I see it as a strange time for well meaning people to focus on the Constitution’s pimples and blemishes.

    #1982

    el gallinazo post=1580 wrote: RE

    I have to admire your patience and fortitude with dealing with this new Viva Zapata character.

    EG! You’re ALIVE! I was worried the Mexico Quake took you out. LOL.

    Far as Zapata goes, the Patience and Fortitude are the result of playing NICE in the effort to further Plug DD. Trust me, if I was not making my best efforts at presenting logical arguments in the effort to get more readers on DD, I’d go BALLISTIC on this sort of drivel.

    TAE however has been quite kind to me so far in allowing me to Plug DD, so I am not going to Napalm the Living Shit out of anyone here. I will most certainly do that on DD though if any such characters have the balls to show up there 🙂

    Wonder why I have been BANNED from so many Blogs? LOL.

    RE

    #1983

    El Gallinazo wrote: Smacks of Cass Sunstein’s cynical stable. Maybe the NSA troll bunch out in Anaheim

    Unlikely on both counts. Zapata’s prose is ESL. He’s not a native speaker of English. I’m guessing some SA country, otherwise he is Eurotrash.

    RE

    #1985

    el gallinazo
    Member

    You may be right about the origin – tough call. I went through it too quickly to savor the flavor 🙁 Yuk! Oh well. Physicians in the 19th century used to touch a patient’s urine to their tongue as part of a diagnosis. It is a bit on the stilted side; probably is ESL. Shows a very strong mastery of English none the less. But you are assuming that Sunstein hasn’t off shored his work. You are probably right. No need to economize with that $1.3 trillion federal deficit to spend. It’s good for the economy. When the Ministry of Truth off shores its apparatchiks you know TSHTF.

    As to getting the boot. Ash is minding the store now and he is very much into the idea of the free marketplace of ideas, with certain reasonable limitations. But we both may get the boot eventually.

    #1987

    Possibility exists that our NSA Friends are specifically employing ESL types as a means to make the Trolling seem more “real”. However, based on my experience on NUMEROUS boards where I have run itno what are clearly Goobermint trolls, they habitually reference material you cannot find in normal channels. Zapata does not strike me as a paid Troll at the moment. Just a clueless dimwit with a marginal command of the English Language.

    RE

    #1988

    el gallinazo
    Member

    RE

    “Marginal command of the English language.” Jeez, you are a tough task master. I have been trying to learn Spanish for several years, and I still can barely buy a bus ticket without winding up in the wrong city. I have an excuse of course – half my brains have already leaked out of my ears, and the other half is experiencing turbulence.

    But enough of this character. I would like to bring the thread back to the clash between the Constitutionalist in the USA and Sauron’s minions out of Basle and the BIS.

    #1989

    el gallinazo post=1588 wrote: RE

    “Marginal command of the English language.” Jeez, you are a tough task master.

    Indeed 🙂 I am fortunate that English IS my First Language and besides that I’m gifted with a 5 star Vocabulary to boot 🙂 Fortunate for me besides that is English happens to have historically gained hegenomy in much the same manner that the Dollar did, so I am beneficiary of being on the top end of the most commonly used language on the Internet for this kind of argument. I’ll cut slack for ESL speakers who are clear thinkers, but for Dimwits like Zapata? I’ll carve him up like Thanksgiving Turkey. LOL. I’ll do it with NATIVE speakers of English also, just ESL dimwits are sitting ducks for thsi kind of attack. 🙂

    But enough of this character. I would like to bring the thread back to the clash between the Constitutionalist in the USA and Sauron’s minions out of Basle and the BIS.

    Well, I got some bones to pick with you on Ron Paul style Constitutionalism, but I don’t think I will do it here. Overall, the Constitution is a Document designed to protect Private Property rights and enforce the dichotomy between the Haves and the Have Nots. There is a REASON only Property Owners had voting franchise rights under the Constitution you know.

    RE

    #1990

    Glennda
    Participant

    “Morris Berman, in his book Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline, delves into a very sensitive topic for most Americans. He asks the tough questions about the nature of American culture as it relates to various issues such as slavery, genocide, *the corruption of corporate and governing institutions*, systemic environmental destruction, imperial warmongering and economic decline.”

    *the corruption of corporate and governing institutions* – I’m just wondering when these were NOT corrupt.

    “As much as we would like to believe that we can evolve away from our opposition culture into one that is *more comfortable with itself*, it is difficult to ignore the momentum of our self-repeating history over a few centuries.”

    *more comfortable with itself* – Unfortunately our system of privilege and capitalism is only too *comfortable* with setting up an enemy to divert attention to.

    Ash, I think you answer this implied question with the article on the War Machine and its retailers, in “Becoming the Bank”. The war machine is highly profitable and can buy off the politicians and prosecutors. Besides the war machine can rid the population of the angry young men who could be a threat by conscripting them or throwing more of them in jail. Or those angry young people with no future might just be tempted by high paying sales jobs in the drug industry, and then throw them in jail to use as slave labor.

    The Oppositional culture demonizes the “enemy”and allows people to kill what they define as non-humans or animals. It removes any moral scruples a person might have about murder.

    RE said.
    “Overall, the Constitution is a Document designed to protect Private Property rights and enforce the dichotomy between the Haves and the Have Nots. There is a REASON only Property Owners had voting franchise rights under the Constitution you know.”

    This was exactly what went wrong with ancient Athens before Solon devised a cancelation of debts and the return of Athenians who had to sell themselves and family to slavery. They later instituted a lottery for serving on their Council of 500. It seems to be the first instance of a populist democracy at work. While it did not work all that well, it may well have been head and shoulders above letting the landed well-born and rich merchants literally enslave debtors.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 84 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.